Two Sydney men are ferrying aid to Port Macquarie for people who have lost everything in the bushfires.
John Byrne, 39, from Haberfield, is behind the initiative and claims soon he will have no room to take any more donations.
“I had planned to travel to Coffs Harbour to watch the World Rally Championship – travelling up Friday and back to Sydney on Monday,” he told Hatch. “When I saw the fires up there, I decided to put a call out for donations and to fill my car with whatever I received. A few people I know got on board as well.”
John, who is originally from Ireland, said he was not gaining personally in any way by doing it and was just happy to do something positive for people that need help.
“Australia is my home now so I’m just taking the Aussie values of mateship as my own,” he said.
“I think with climate change we are going to see far more of these events in the future but a proactive approach to prevention needs to be adopted be it back burning in wetter months or other proven mitigation measures.”
Paul McGlade, 38, from Matraville, is also taking a ute full of donations up the coast after seeing Byrne’s call for help on Facebook’s page Irish Around Sydney.
“John was asking if people wanted to donate anything for the victims of the fires, as he was going to travel up with whatever he had,” he said.
“On seeing this and after watching everything on the news on Monday, I contacted John and told him if he needed a hand, I would go too as I have access to a ute and a friend’s trailer.
“This was all John’s goodwill and thinking to be honest. I just thought it was the decent thing to do to offer him a hand. I’m just tagging along.”
John and Paul will be at two different suburbs this week collecting donations such as bedding, baby wipes and toiletries for those in need.
As of today at least 67 fires were burning across NSW, with a further 70 in Queensland and 15 in Western Australia.